HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Jared Sasaki of Kalani and Darren Jewell of Makua Lani Christian fought for the ball yesterday.
Seeds all fall at boys state soccer
Leilehua's win over No. 1 Kamehameha caps a night of upsets
Seeding designations didn't mean a whole lot in the quarterfinals of the Meadow Gold Dairies/HHSAA Boys Soccer State Championships yesterday.
State Soccer Semifinals
» Leilehua vs. Kalani, 6 p.m.
» Roosevelt vs. Punahou, 8 p.m.
» Kamehameha vs. Makua Lani, 4 p.m.
» Kamehameha-Maui vs. Kapolei, 4 p.m.
» Championship match, 8 p.m.
» Third-place match, 6 p.m.
» Fifth-place match, 4 p.m.
» Consolation final, Kapaa vs. Kealakehe, 4 p.m.
All four seeded teams -- Makua Lani Christian, Kapolei, Kamehameha-Maui and Kamehameha -- fell in order at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park's Main Stadium.
The biggest shocker of the group was Leilehua's defeat of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion Warriors 1-0 on penalty kicks to cap the day of upsets.
The Oahu Interscholastic Association champion and second-seeded Hurricanes also fell -- 4-1 at the hands of Roosevelt, the OIA's fifth-place team.
The other upsets were less shocking. The Lions of Makua Lani Christian, seeded fourth as the Big Island champion despite a total student enrollment of 90, couldn't have been considered a favorite over OIA runner-up Kalani. The same went for Maui Interscholastic League champion and third-seeded KS-Maui, which had a tough pairing against defending state champion Punahou.
Makua Lani gave a valiant effort, but couldn't quite live up to its seeding against the speedy Falcons, who pulled out a 1-0 win.
Carter Kam received a long forward pass to the left of the Lions' net and along the goal line in the 28th minute. He quickly changed direction back toward midfield -- momentarily freezing the Lions' defense -- and appeared to have a shot at an extreme angle.
Kam elected to set up his teammate instead. He placed the ball in front of the goal for fellow senior Kenn Kamoto, who flashed into the penalty box and finished with a lighting-quick strike with his right foot.
"It's just what we do in practice," said Kamoto. "Just make an outside run, (Carter) saw me open and he just hit me on the run and I scored."
"I thought about shooting, but then, like I saw people running in which had better angles than me," Kam explained. "I just laid it off for him."
It would be the Falcons' only successful execution on nine shots on goal, but their attacks took the Lions out of their game. They appeared winded in stretches trying to keep up with Kalani's shifty attackers.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Makua Lani Christian goalkeeper Stephen Hamacher dove to make a save during yesterday's 1-0 loss to Kalani.
Makua Lani managed just a single shot in the first half -- one not especially close to the mark.
Lions coach Rafael Cifuentes attributed that to state tournament shock. It was his school's first appearance beyond the Big Island Interscholastic Federation playoffs, which they won this year, 2-1 in the final over Kamehameha-Hawaii to earn their seeding.
"The deal with our team, when the first time they play they were too nervous," Cifuentes said. "It's the first time we played in a stadium. Even though there weren't a whole lot of people (about 30 loyal Lions fans made the trip). It's kind of intimidating. I just told them to play their game, work on the style they've been doing the whole season, and we tried to regain control."
The Lions played with passion in the second half, but got just two shots on goal for their trouble. Their most serious challenge to Falcons goalkeeper Ian Garrod's shutout came in the 74th minute, when forward Peter Jars fed Dylan Hardie-Jordan with a cross. The freshman's shot caromed off the crossbar and over, and a cry of anguish went up from the Makua Lani sideline.
Kalani coach Myles Arakawa commended his opponent's dedication to the sport. Of Makua Lani's 44 boys, 25 are on the soccer roster.
He admitted that's all he knew.
"I give 'em credit for getting this far and we didn't know what to expect from them," Arakawa said. "It kind of threw us off, they looked kind of tired. Especially in the first half, and we were able to take advantage of that."
He added that if his team were the one to travel in the same situation, he would have to give the nod to the Lions.
"We're lucky to get out of that one," Arakawa conceded.
Roosevelt 4, Kapolei 1
The Rough Riders built a 4-0 lead behind a pair of goals from halfback Ryan Pena, and one apiece from forwards Alex Fowler and Carle Oda.
Roosevelt (11-2-2), the OIA's fifth-place team, scored the big upset against the OIA champion.
Fluid ball movement helped the Rough Riders seize the day.
"That (good ball movement) is the difference, yeah," said coach Ed Ota, who has been humble after his team's second state tournament win in as many days. "We want to go for the championship now, but so far we've been lucky."
The Hurricanes' Kainoa Bryant prevented the shutout with a putback goal in the 77th minute.
Leilehua 1, Kamehameha 0 (PKs)
The Mules scored the upset of the tournament by forcing the Warriors to a penalty-kicks duel after a scoreless 80 minutes of regulation, plus two 10-minute overtime periods.
Syd Tom, Bryant Moniz and Jacob Sego found the net for Leilehua, while only Royale Komomua connected for top-seeded and previously unbeaten Kamehameha (11-1-1).
Three of the four semifinalists in today's matches represent the OIA.
Punahou 2, Kamehameha-Maui 1
The defending champion Buffanblu turned up their intensity late, collecting the tying goal from Christopher Walker's penalty kick about 1 minute into stoppage time.
Two minutes into overtime, junior midfielder John Cowen booted the golden goal from 30 yards out, catching the Warriors unaware. The ball snuck in the right side of the goal before anyone could react, and Cowen's teammates smothered him on the field.
"I'm extremely proud of them -- that was our best game of the year," said Punahou coach Bob Clague. "It's the game we've been waiting for, kind of searching all year."
Punahou (13-1-1) had to travel to Maui to play Baldwin in an ILH-MIL showdown for the final state berth.
Kamehameha-Maui (15-1-2) had been riding high on Kelii Dias' hustle goal on a putback at the 60th minute, and did its best to fend off one Punahou offensive after another.
The Warriors left the field in a daze after taking their first loss of the year in the game's closing moments, but coach Jayson Nakasone kept his head up.
"Punahou's always a good team, and they came out to the end," Nakasone said.
"Scoring in injury time, they really wanted it. You always have to deal with people who are talented and who want this. Hopefully we get it next time."
Kealakehe 5, Kamehameha-Hawaii 0
Micah Miranda, Josh Boranian, Kiah Gilbert, Max Simon, and Stanceford Kaina scored a goal apiece to lead the Waveriders.
Kapaa 2, Kalaheo 1
Tyler Angelder scored the game-winning goal in the 71st minute to lead the Warriors.
Ikaika Fuerte found the net 4 minutes into the second half for Kapaa. Tino Smiley scored Kalaheo's lone goal in the 54th minute.
Kealakehe coaches out of tournament
HHSAA officials announced that Kealakehe head coach Urs Leuenberger and assistant coach Miles Nakahara have been suspended for the rest of the state tournament for conduct after the Waveriders' 5-0 win over Kamehameha-Hawaii in consolation play yesterday.
According to the HHSAA, Leuenberger was suspended because he failed to control Nakahara after the assistant verbally and physically confronted several HHSAA officials on multiple occasions regarding tournament pairings.